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Musical Serendipity

Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 12:01AM by Registered CommenterAllyson B. Crawford | Comments7 Comments

I interview a lot of musicians. The interviews are basically routine, consisting of a few questions surrounding a new album, song or tour and maybe something personal if the interview subject is so inclined.

It’s very rare that something either goes completely wrong or totally hilarious. Last night I was talking to drummer Herman Rarebell. He’s got a new album out and I’m going to feature him on Noisecreep. In the middle of the conversation, he casually mentions that Pete Way is sitting on his couch.

As in, Pete Way of Fastway and UFO and a slew of other bands.

Me: "Excuse me, did you just say Pete Way is on your couch?"

Herman: "Oh yeah, you want to talk to him?"

Um...yeah.

So, for five minutes I chatted up Pete Way. He had a bad case of the hiccups and he has a thick accent, so understanding him was interesting to say the least. He mentioned couch surfing despite owning a couple homes, being separated from his wife and working on new music with Rarebell and a chance meeting with Phil Mogg. It turns out Rarebell and Way saw Phil Mogg walking his dog! Neither Rarebell or Way knew Mogg was around so the meeting was completely chance. Of course, the musicians got together. Perhaps something new will come of that...who knows?

The incidence of Way running into Mogg was serendipitous. Me talking to Rarebell and getting hooked in with Way was also serendipitous.

So,this got me thinking: do you have any serendipitous stories as they relate to music? I’d love to hear them and I know you do. Some of you have amazing stories of meeting your music heroes while simply hanging out, going about your own business.


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Reader Comments (7)

I met my heroes from KISS by pure accident....well the current version anyway. As good of a drummer as Eric Singer is, I don't actually count him as KISS proper. Anyway, long story short, I was at a restaurant (had never been ther before) and I feel someone scraping by me and, lo and behold, its Gene Simmons...then Paul Stanley...then the "others". Just by chance. I approached them way before they starte dinner and said "hi", got autographs, etc. They were gracious and I was ecstatic to say the least. So, that's my story.

Another one....I was on the Sunset Strip in 1990 and went to the Whiskey to see a band that Chris Holmes from WASP was in after his (one of many) dismissals from the band. The band was called Psycho Squad. All of a sudden, James Hetfield was standing next to me. I never said anything to him...he was approached by a lot of people and he was a complete dick to them so I kept my mouth shut. He kept shaking his beer bottle and spraying everyone. I understand that the coincidence factor is high since I was on the Strip but Metallica was huge and I didn't see any other "stars" there that night.

Ran into Scott Ian from Anthrax in the airport in Chicago when I was on a business trip. Cool guy.

Ran into CC Deville on the Strip (same trip). We were walking and he jumped out of a car and was looking into a tattoo shop window. Kind of an ass too. I just happened to be more into Poison than Metallica then so I gave CC more leeway than James.

So those are my "brushes" with Glam/Metal greatness.
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJAT
Al! Yet another great Post Idea!

Kinda like JAT on The Strip, part of my Rock/Metal Serendipity Moments were aided by geographical circumstance (i.e. Living in NYC from '88 to 2001) Here's a few off the top of my head (some I have related on BBG! before)...

1) Brian Johnson of AC/DC in '89 on the corner of 53rd and 7th in front of whatever the hell that hotel is (where he was obviously staying), as he just put a crying brunette in a cab and proceeded to make gracious small talk with me for 10 minutes. I told him the story at a rare record signing ("Stiff Upper Lip") at Virgin Megastore in Time Square and the entire band laffed their as*ses off about The Crying Brunette (sounds like a book title, hmmmm...)

2) This didn't happen to me, but it is killer funny. My friends Beth and Julian were on some high end "deserted island" resort in The Carribean when they happened upon Robert Plant quietly having lunch with a young damsel (this is around '95). Plant is super gracious to them as the two couples are the only ones in the thatch roofed outdoor resort restaurant for lunch. They start hitting it off and before you know it they are all mugging for pictures at Plants table, Beth giving him a smooch on the cheek and vice-versa while she was jokingly sitting on his lap, shots of Julian with Plant's arm around him. Group shots of various combinations shot by the waiter, etc. The whole shebang. They basically did it for my amusement, they explained, as they know I'm such a huge Zep fan (they are my faves of all time, of course). So after lunch and they cordially part ways, Beth and Julian are walking down the beach. Beth is holding the brand new Nikon camera they had gotten especially for the trip, and she remarked to Julian that they had shot a whole roll of film of them with Plant. Beth then asked Julian, "I wonder what this button does?" and before he could say anything, she pressed a little red button on the back of the camera which then proceeded to make a fast whirring sound and popped the rear door where you load the film in open and popping the film out all over the place, of course, ruining it in the process. She just skipped the auto-rewind stage before she pressed it and this is what happens (now we see another very good reason why it's now pretty much all digital these days). When I saw them again out in the Hamptons (we shared a beach house together), they told me the story and Beth was on the verge of tears telling me how they were all excited about it and were basically doing it all for me, etc. I gently touched her arm, assuringly, and said, "Look Beth, it's almost better that way. Now you have your memories as pure as your mind's eye can see them. They are too special to be merely documented by photographs." or something to that effect. But, let's face it, I'd give up a $300 vintage bottle of the finest Cabernet Sauvignon (but not a $300 vintage ultra rare indy late 80's Hair Metal CD) to have seen those pictures!

3) Standing next to Iggy Pop for like an hour and a half during G'n'R's legendary "Use Your Illusion" Tour warm up shows at The Ritz in '92 and warning him about his "fans" (let's say overly obsessed potential stalker level "fans"), the Antonelli Brothers, in Maryland and talking to him in between songs about a lot of stuff. I told him how much I loved "Brick By Brick" (Slash guests on that), and all of his classic records and how we used to do "I Wanna Be Your Dog" when I was in a band in, ready for this, '78 (Argh!)!

4) Hanging out with Brian Connelly (of Sweet! Y'know -- "Ballroom Blitz", "Fox On The Run", "Action", "Little Willy", "Love Is Like Oxygen" -- almost all Top 10 Hits in the '70's), one of the original Glamsters (!) for a night of Hollywood debauchery starting at the Four Seasons Hotel Bar (where I once saw Roger Daltry having a Guiness but didn't bug him) and winding up at The Rainbow. He actually drove me (barely, I can't believe we made it!) up from The Four Seasons to The Rainbow, which is only like a mile, in his '68 dark green Rolls. He told me that it was once stolen from the Four Seasons and that the Four Seasons' Security found the car before the LAPD did! He had a few pops (apparently his downfall in '97. God Bless. RIP). Up at the Rainbow, we only got a few in before closing, but it was wild. There weren't any Glam Metal band members that I recognized, but that's not to say they weren't there but all of these Glam Metal kidz were fawning all over him. It was cool because he introduced me to everyone. Odd detail: He gave me his phone number -- apparently he lived in the Hills -- on a cloth napkin (that's all they've got at The Four Seasons -- besides years of psychological torture, the ad biz did have it's perks). I was gonna call him to invite him to see the Kinks VIP at the House of Blues (another perk -- free tickets courtesy of the production companies you shoot commercials with in L.A.) but, alas, he wrote the number illegibly and then I noticed something else very odd that he had scrawled under his name... Bassist, Led Zeppelin. Then I remembered that he told me that he had done a few rehearsals with Zeppelin before one of their "reunions". Though I appreciate his enthusiasm for Zep, he kept going on and on about how he was now in Zeppelin and it was just strange that he just wanted to latch onto Zep, trying to make me think he was now a member, and completely p*ssed on his own incredible career when I told him Sweet were legendary and that he should reform the original band. It's weird, he took all his #1's and Top 10's completely for granted.

5) Hangin' with The Cult poolside on the roof of Le Parc Hotel off The Strip in Hollywood where I bought 'em drinks and quickly became their waiter (Hahaha!!! Well, not literally, but it sure seemed like it) as Ian Astbury's chick made goo-goo eyes at me -- I think he was kinda mean to her, hate to say, while they made fun of Big Country who were swimming in the pool (hahaha!!! Classically cruel!). They were in Hollywood recording "Sonic Temple", one of our faves! A couple of other tid bits. His chick invited me to join 'em to go see Kingdom Come in their canary yellow vintage '66 T-Bird convertible they had rented from Dreamboat Classics on Sunset Boulevard but Astbury kinda weasled me out of that one. I didn't know who Kingdom Come was at the time, so I was kinda like, "Who cares", and to be honest, I was kinda like, "Who Cares" about The Cult, to be honest, but that was before "Sonic Temple" came out, even though I had seen 'em on Headbanger's Ball in their "Love Removal Machine" video, but I didn't buy their "Electric" album until after I met 'em, to tell you the truth. It was funny to think back on what Astbury and his chick were saying about Kingdom Come at the time. They were telling me "you have to come because the singer sounds more like Plant than Plant, etc. and they sound exactly like Zeppelin...", etc. I blew it off, stupidly, in hindsight. On reflection, had I really pushed it, I coulda seen 'em back then (I did catch 'em opening for Ratt just a year later at Hammerjack's in Baltimore). Anyway, if you think I can sound like an envious passive aggressive jerk now, you shoulda gotten a load of me back then, as I thought I was a hot sh*t art director in advertising, with Robert Plant hair and a Schott motorcycle jacket (with no motorcycle) so I acted like I didn't care about stuff like hangin' with The Cult, even though I was totally lovin' it. Another humorous Cult tid-bit... I remember one Sunday morning around 11 a.m. (we were all holed up in Le Parc for like 3 weeks -- me makin' commercials and they makin' "Sonic Temple" -- but I think they were in pre-pro -- here's why...) I watched the 2 Hotel Valets roll two brand spankin' new Harley's out from the hotel's parking garage and started them up. Then I saw Astbury and guitarist Billy Duffy come out and get on 'em and proceed to rev the engines and lean in close to each other for a rather long discussion. I am convinced to this day, and it's pure speculation, that they were plotting about firing the original drummer and bassist. I came to this conclusion while reading the band line-up credits on "Sonic Temple". Matt Sorum, etc. Sorum and that bass player weren't on the roof with me that day. Another funny aside -- later that morning, when I was waiting for my '87 black Mustang 5.0 GT convertible the agency rented for me, I asked one of the valets I saw with the Harleys earlier, I asked him, "How come those guys don't ride their Harleys?" "Because they no have license.", was his reply. Later, I did see Astbury and Duffy running their Harleys up and down the block on North West Knoll Drive in front of the hotel, which I found quite hilarious since I coulda called LAPD to have 'em arrested which would have been their comeuppance for making fun of Big Country in the pool. These guys were really taking this whole "L.A. Metal Cowboy" thing very seriously. Aw, what do you expect from a couple of closet Zeppelin Freaks with a major record deal in '87. Remember, before that, The Cult were like a pseudo "New Romantic" Post Punk Goth Rock Alternative New Wave Band with songs like "She Sells Sanctuary" until they broke the U.S. Market with a couple of Hard Rock singles like "Love Removal Machine" and then taking it a step further with what I believe to be Glam Metal, the "Sonic Temple" album. The Black Rose Flower Power look died and the Tattoo's and Harleys came in. Oh, yeah, and the chick got 3 call backs when she auditioned for the lead female role in Michael Jackson's video for his song, "The Way You Make Me Feel". Needless to say, she was one tall glass of water. When I got back to NYC and saw that video, I saw that she didn't get the part, poor girl. Where is she now? Time to quit my daydreaming, or shall I say, night dreaming, considering the late hour I am writing this (when I could be writing my Part III M3 Comments or my Lizzy Borden Recollections -- see, I didn't forget Brian, tho you'll probably be the only one reading 'em, if I'm even that lucky, I'll be entering them in so late in the game long after your post, sorry!)...

6) On the same trip to L.A. when I hung out with The Cult, an L.A. Pure Serendipity Moment: Pulling up at a stop light on Sunset on the way out to Santa Monica and waiting for the light to change and looking over to my right and seeing Angeline in her pink custom Maco Shark Corvette Stingray on my right with her lollipop and Lolita heart shaped sunglasses, and then hearing two Harley's pull up beside me on my left only to find one Mr. Brett Michaels on one and Bobby Dahl on the other. I was 27 and they were just 21 or 22 kids! The year was 1987. And I was on The Boulevard. And it was Rock and Roll!

7) 11 Stephanie Seymour Sitings. 8 in The Hamptons and 4 in NYC. I'm not going to get into it except to mention the first siting and a few random details of a couple others. Right after she broke up with Axl, she and I first laid eyes on each other at the Amagansett Farmer's Market in The Hamptons. She looked terrible. It must have been right after. But she was with some other model chicks sitting on one of the benches in front and she looked at me as if she knew me. It must have been my Robert Plant hair at the time. She got up and walked toward me and then did one of those "exit stage left" maneuvers when she realized I wasn't who she thought I was. Then I saw her at Gurney's in Montauk. Then I saw her at the Mobil in Amamgansett. Then I saw her at Replay in NYC. Then I saw her at an Absolut Vodka party in NYC. Then I saw her again at Gurney's. Then I saw her in her silver Mercedes S convertible waiting out in front of Da Silvano in NYC brushing her hair while she was waiting to meet someone for lunch. Then I ignored her when she walked into the restaurant as I was already seated there with a fairly hot chick. The incidents go on and on. Now you are going to laff at this, but I just wasn't that attracted to her (Elaine Irwin, Jerko Cougar Mellencrap's wife now, on the other hand, who I actually went on a date with once -- note, "once" and Cindy Crawford, who I once had a 20 minute conversation with at an art opening at photographer Scavullo's studio (He shot Edgar Winter's "They Only Come Out At Night" and Kiss' "Dynasty" album covers, besides virtually every Cosmo cover until he died) until her "Nurse Ratchett" agent chopped it off. Cindy! I shoulda gotten her number but I was too escared! Anyway, Stephanie and I actually had a good laff together when we saw each other at The Mobil because that was like the 7th time we had run into each other. But I never, not once, engaged in a conversation with her. I know, call me crazy, but I just wasn't that into her. Hahaha!!! It's true!

8) Running into Chris Robinson (I think I've already mentioned this tale like 3 times on this site, poor Al) seated in front of Raoul's on Prince Street, sipping wine with a bearded A&R type, where I proceeded to tell him (I had had a quite a few bevs at this point) I thought his brother was annoying and he laffed and agreed and how I saw Black Crowes open for Junkyard at the Cat Club and that I thought Junkyard made them look like bellhops. He laffed again, unbelievably. The A&R guy was shocked and appalled, a state I always used to like to get those people in, since usually they are such royal a*s kissers like I am now, hahaha!!! Just kiddin', I'm not too bad...

9) Johnny Ramone. RIP. Met him randomly Halloween Eve, '94 in Patricia Field on 8th before she hit it big doing "Sex and The City". I was looking at one of those carousel belt racks when suddenly the thing started turning under what seemed like it's own power and then I looked up and saw that it was Johnny Ramone turning it. He, like myself, was waiting for his chick to get her costume together. I told him had seen him and the Ramones some 14 times or something and that craziest thing I ever saw was when I saw 'em in '80 at Pratt Institute's Gym in Brooklyn where someone brought in a fish and everyone started kicking the thing around during "Rockaway Beach". I grabbed a blonde who was slipping on it and kept her from falling and then went out with her for a couple of years, hahaha!!! He loved that. Then I asked him the craziest thing he ever saw at a Ramones show and he said the wildest thing he ever saw was while he was playing "Surfin' Bird" at one of their gigs and he looked up and saw someone had taken a dead seagull and was swingin' it up in the air tied on the end of a rope! Now that is Rock and Roll, people!

Of course, I could go on and on about Rockstars I've met and even bought drinks for at club shows or concerts but that's easy prey. I love this subject and the idea of randomly running into these people on the street and stuff. So we'll leave it there.
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Oh, real quick, on Pete Way... He's the one famous for getting a call from Mogg quite a few years ago about doing a UFO reunion tour. He calmly hung up the phone and then nonchalantly told his wife he was going out for a pack of smokes. He never came back. Hahaha!!!
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Metalboy. Those are some amazing stories. I totally enjoyed reading them.

Not sure if this counts, but it is my only one. At ROK 2009, Ron Keel was standing outside the Retrospect tent watching a band. We went up to him and got pics. Couldnt really talk too much cause the music was so loud.
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrian L
Bri! Sure it counts! How cool is that guy. Also, a bit of trivia... you may already know this... that first Steeler album he did with Malmsteen... The #1 Independently released Metal Album of all time. I forget what the stats were but we can probably Google it...

Also, I forgot two other Metal Moments (or Pseudo Metal, particularly in one case...)...

10) Walking across Lafayette Street on St. Marks in NYC with Lars Ulrich (he was by himself) and not saying anything to him because I despise him, hahaha!!! And I gave him a LOOK like I knew who he was but didn't care -- An expression that was something between a Mona Lisa Smile and a Sh*t Eating Grin! I wish I had been carrying a Megadeth album at that moment. I would have asked him to sign it, hahaha!!!

11) Watching Anthony Kiedis railing on a Continental Airlines Ticket Agent at the First Class Ticket Counter during a blizzard at La Guardia, as though the Ticket Agent can control the weather. He had a totally and awesomely beautiful 22 year old platinum blonde with him (I'd say this was December 18th, 1994 or so). I calmly walk up to the agent next to him and with the blonde listening to me calmly requesting "To get me anywhere south..." realizing that this would get me out of the blizzard and south where I could find another flight to Florida as my original flight had already been cancelled. As I walked away I overheard him screaming at his agent to get him on my flight... Cut to the pilot coming over the speaker shortly after we took off... "Ladies and Gentlemen, you may find it interesting to know, but we are the last flight out of La Guardia today" Kiedis was not on the flight. Don't get me wrong, I like some Red Hot Chili Peppers stuff ("Higher Ground" and "Dani California", etc.) but this guy is kinda arrogant (met him briefly at a Robert William's art exhibit once), unlike Flea, who seems a lot cooler -- hey, I got one about him, too... and he was acting like a total jerk at the airport. So my "shadenfreude" moment of pleasure at Kiedis' expense was sweet but short lived because I realized he probably went back to The St. Regis or The Stanhope with that blonde to wait out the storm... But, then again, I was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico two days later (I wonder if I'll still be able to, the way we're headed) in Naples, Florida where it was 83 degrees and chasing blondes, too!

12) Flea. I was in Rocks In Your Head, a tiny record store on Spring Street, I think, in Soho, NYC... and I'm killin' time (I think I've already told this story twice on here, poor Al) on my lunch hour browzin' the racks (just like I was doin' yesterday at Rock'n'Roll Heaven, an indy store in Orlando where I found a cool Glam Metal album by a band called Boss with the bossest logo -- that's how I always buy still today, mostly, on the logo and the hairdos, hahaha!!!)... and in comes Flea. He starts browzin', too. Then his girlfriend pops in with her leopard print fall coat and bitchface on, hahaha!!! She says, "Let's go..." so he makes a selection. I can't see what he's got but I hear him say to the guy at the register, "I hear this is the best live album ever recorded". And the guy agrees. Exit Flea. I nonchalantly roll up and lay some albums on the counter and ask the guy in studied casualness so as not to come off like the shameless Rock Hero Worshipper that I actually am. I say to the guy at the register, "So, I'm just curious, Rick, what album did he buy?". Rick: "Oh, Flea? The Who, "Live At Leeds". I'm not worthy!
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Man, I apologize for hoggin' up the forum here. I hope others weigh in. It's such an interesting subject Al has hit on.

It made me just remember, too, the funniest one I think I've ever heard, too... "The Shiprocked Warren DiMartini Disinfectant Dispenser Incident" Al witnessed last year.

I bet everyone's got at least one biggie and probably more!

Kari? Sweet Lou? Where are you?

I know they've got beans to spill!
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Was taking the bus from California to New York in 1994. Had a brief stop in Colorado between buses so I went outside to get some air. Luckily I chose the side of the building I did, because across the street was a tour bus. I went over to check out who it was and met Vinnie Paul and Dimebag (who was stoned to the gills). Only had a few mintues so wasn't able to meet the others (in the hotel), but I did get my Guitar World signed; Coincidently the issue I had was a Pantera cover story!!
June 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJack

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